There are a variety of different items scattered around your house that can be extremely handy in a survival situation. These items are often quite cheap — and can be extremely effective. They also can be packed away and stored easily, essentially adding very little or no weight to your survival kit.
Here are four:
1. Trash Bags
I am not talking about those lovely lavender-scented trash bags that are made for your kitchen trash. Those bags are great for taking out the trash, but not great for survival. I am referencing the heavy duty contractor trash bags. These are the types of bags you find near the tools in a store, not near the mops. These bags vary in size, and I personally tend to stick with the 40 to 45 gallon variants.
These bags are thick and heavy duty. They can still rip and tear, but they are less prone to stretching and tearing when given a bit of weight. They cost a little more, but they aren’t terribly expensive, usually a little less than a dollar each. They are lightweight and pliable enough to fit in nearly any extra space in your pack or pocket.
Trash bags can be converted and used for a variety of different tasks. First off, they make a good poncho in an emergency, and keep you both warm and somewhat dry. They also can be used to cheaply waterproof the goods in your pack. Trash bags can be used to help insulate and protect you at night, and even aid in building shelters. They even can even be used as emergency water storage devices. The uses are limitless.
Pantyhose are rather weak and prone to tearing when being worn. However, they are a little stronger when not stretched.
What can they be used for? Well, for people in swamp-like areas, they make for an excellent bug netting. Wearing pantyhose when crossing questionable bodies of water can protect you from leeches. They also can help strain water for purification and can act as a makeshift fish net or even a container to carry food.
Pantyhose are cheap, lightweight and easy to pack and hide.
3. Tampons and Pads
This one may seem like an odd addition, but in an emergency they can be used for a variety of different tasks.
Pads can make good makeshift bandages. They are easy to wrap around the body and fit the body’s shape very well.
Take tampons apart and the materials can be extremely handy. The materials on the inside can be used as a small amount of gauze. They also can be combined with a plastic water bottle and act as a crude water filter to remove large materials. The inside cotton also can act as fire tender. When combined with a little Vaseline, it can in fact make a superb tinder.
Tampons and pads are, again, very cheap and easy to find. Their lightweight portability make them superb as a pack-away item.
4. Hand Sanitizer
Let’s not forget that basic hygiene is going to be a major factor in successful survival. You can have more guns than you can handle, tons of food, and gallons of water, but that doesn’t stop you from getting a viral infection and dying of fever. Keeping clean will still be important.
Hand sanitizer is lightweight, easy to carry, and often comes in containers of various sizes. Even a small bottle of hand sanitizer can last a few weeks when it’s only being used to wash hands before a meal. Think of how your hands will be after skinning a deer, or cleaning a fish? Hygiene is your friend.
Hand sanitizer is also pretty flammable. This I learned while goofing off in Afghanistan. Someone suggested it, and then someone lit something on fire … and the rest was history. We started using hand sanitizer combined with a little cotton or paper to ignite fires. When mixed with just a little cotton, it works wonders.
These are my top four handy dandy, around-the-home survival items. My intention with this list was to point to items that are already in your home — or are extremely common. Their defining features are cheap, lightweight and incredibly common.
What are your suggestions for adding to the list? Share them in the section below: